Boys basketball: Perham ends Osakis’ 22-win season in the 8AA semis
The Osakis boys basketball team had cut its deficit to 29-22 after a Daniel Savageau three about two and a half minutes into the second half on Monday night.
The Silverstreaks were staying within striking distance of Section 8AA-South’s top-seeded Perham to that point, but the Yellowjackets are 29-0 for a reason. After a timeout, they responded to that Savageau triple with a quick 8-0 run. Perham never looked back in a 62-39 win that ended Osakis’ season and moves the Yellowjackets into the section title game.
“We felt confident,” Osakis head coach Matt Hoelscher said. “We knew Barnesville kept (Perham) close for two games. We beat Barnesville by 20. Guys were not afraid coming in, that’s for sure. We said play loose, play with confidence. I thought we did. We just couldn’t get the open shots we are used to getting.”
Perham has size and athleticism at almost every position. They feature a 6-foot, 4-inch University of Minnesota football recruit at defensive tackle in Logan Richter. He had 14 points and 10 rebounds, while the guard play of senior Martin Lafond (13 points) and juniors Jenson Beachy (12 points) and Josh Jeziorski (11 points) gave the Yellowjackets plenty of depth.
The Silverstreaks wanted to make players beat them other than Beachy and Lafond. Osakis threw multiple defensive looks at them, but Perham got loose for good shots at the bucket by cutting away from the ball. The Yellowjackets also knocked down seven threes, including three from Richter.
“They’ve got all-around players who know their roles, know when to shoot, know when to dribble,” Osakis sophomore guard Daniel Savageau said. “They just got to us at the end.”
Perham has weapons offensively, but the Yellowjackets’ greatest asset might be their defense. They allow a section-low 45.1 points per game to opponents on the season.
The Silverstreaks shot 36 percent overall (13-36) and hit just 4-of-15 threes. Savageau was the only Osakis player with more than four points as he finished with 22 on 7-of-13 shooting, including a 4-of-8 night from three.
“They’re just so long and athletic,” Hoelscher said. “They were guarding Daniel really well and any time there was a ball screen, they would trap it or hedge it. We weren’t getting a lot of free releases. Even though we would screen away, when a guy would be open they would close the gap so quickly. It’s a beast that we haven’t really seen this year with five guys defending the way they did.”
Perham has won its three playoff games by margins of 22, 20 and 23 points. The Yellowjackets will face the winner of Breckenridge and Hawley for the section championship on Thursday at Concordia College in Moorhead at 7 p.m.
Osakis was left disappointed with a loss that ends its season, but not before putting together a memorable run with this group that wrapped up with a 22-7 record.
“This team is something special,” Savageau said. “Our seniors, the way they played with us and hang around with us. We’re like a family, and every year we’re improving and improving.”
Hoelscher told his guys to savor being one of the last four teams standing in this section in a year where not many people knew what to expect after the loss of some talented seniors off a 21-win team last winter.
“Some people thought we would maybe win 10 games this year,” Hoelscher said. “Maybe 15 if we’re lucky. In a section review from one place, they didn’t even give our name as a dark horse, so the fact we were in the final four in the section, it’s the farthest we’ve gotten as a program in a long time.”
The Silverstreaks will lose five seniors in Riley Werven, Jay Manders, Josh Peterka, Philip Mathews and Reid DeWenter to graduation this spring.
“We have a lot of sophomores who have playing experience and some juniors, as well,” Hoelscher said. “We have length. We like our athleticism. Defensively, we just have to be more consistent as far as boxing out, stopping penetration, being more aware away from the basketball.”
There are pieces to replace, but Hoelscher likes the outlook of this team after the experience of a deep playoff run and another 20-win season.
PERHAM 25 37 - 62
OSAKIS 16 23 - 39
OSAKIS TOTALS - FG - 13-36; Three-point FG - 4-15; FT - 9-13; Assists - 4; Rebounds - 17; Steals - 5; Turnovers - 9
OSAKIS - Luke Imdieke - 2 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound, 1 steal; Jonathan Lara - 4 rebounds; Riley Werven - 1 rebound; Daniel Savageau - 22 points, 2 rebounds, 3 steals; Josh Peterka - 4 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds; Philip Mathews - 3 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound; Kobie Lara - 2 points, 4 rebounds; Carter Rost - 2 points, 1 steal; Reid DeWenter - 4 points, 1 rebound
PERHAM SCORING - Jenson Beachy - 12; Martin Lafond - 13; Josh Jeziorski - 11; Ben Winkels - 6; Carter Cresap - 4; Finn Diggins - 2; Logan Richter - 14